LINK>>>Special Election: Dozens of articles in national media -- nearly none in Advertiser, Star-Bulletin
Shapiro: "Machine" Dems go for all the marbles in 2010 -- one article about the Special Election
With pivotal races for U.S. Congress, governor and Honolulu mayor on tap, Inouye and the Democratic regulars are making perhaps their most aggressive grab ever for all the reins of political power.
If they succeed in electing state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa over former U.S. Rep. Ed Case and Councilman Charles Djou for Congress, Mayor Mufi Hannemann over former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona for governor and if Hannemann's Managing Director Kirk Caldwell succeeds him, the Democrats' dominant labor wing will control every top office in Hawai'i as never before.
Republicans would be shut out of statewide office and could see the seats they hold in the Legislature dwindle to the lowest number ever.
There are multiple Democratic factions in both houses of the Legislature, but they are organized more around personal power than policy, and none of the dissident groups has put forth a coherent alternate vision for Hawai'i….
It'll turn on whether voters are willing to hand all the power to the group that has held much of it as our economy, school system and social safety net deteriorated to perhaps their worst shape ever.
Sen. Akaka: "God willing, I Plan to Run Again in 2012" (Inouye: Take me out when I’m crazy.) -- an article about 2012, but not Special Election
Monday the veteran senator quietly shared his plans for the future.
"God willing, God willing I plan to run again in 2012," said Akaka.
If the 85-year-old senator runs for re-election in two years, it will without question trigger a ripple effect of political maneuvering in Hawaii. Insiders have long said this could be Akaka's last term in D.C. with names like Lingle, Hannemann, Case and others patiently or impatiently waiting in the wings….
"I have told my staff and I have told my family that when the time comes, when you question my sanity or question my ability to do things physically or mentally, I don't want you to hesitate, do everything to get me out of here," said Inouye.
RESPONDING TO: Akaka may quit in 2012: Ed Case talks about Senate “opportunity” (From a POLITICO article which has never been reported in local media except HFP.)
TOTALLY RELATED: STAGNATION: THE BREZHNEV ERA
HSTA: Hawaii teachers can't legally work the 3 furlough days for free
(HSTA and media doing their best to maintain the death-grip of HSTA bosses over rank and file teachers. Still not a peep from Matayoshi. Will teachers and Principals open up the schools?)
Teachers could not legally return to work voluntarily for the next three furlough Fridays because that goes against a contractually binding supplemental agreement reached between the union at the state Board of Education, said Wil Okabe, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
(And since when is HSTA an objective legal authority on anything? Teachers volunteer for all types of extra-circular activities. Just count it as three-day long field trips to …uh…school.)
Toguchi said today that the lack of adequate staffing and services could put people in jeopardy. (Same argument—everybody back or nobody back.)
Civil-unions bill gets last-minute lobbying
The civil-union backers had to leave their messages with lawmakers' office staffers because House Democrats were in an afternoon caucus. But late in their rounds, Young and King found Rep. John Mizuno (D, Kalihi Valley) at work. It was a "passionate" exchange of views, said Mizuno, who voted against Bill 444.
"I told them, 'I don't think you have the votes to bring it back,'" he said.
Catholic Bishop Larry Silva also made a end-time pitch on behalf of the opposition. In a letter delivered yesterday to senators as well as House members, Silva commended them for not passing Bill 444. He emphasized the importance of marriage between a man and a woman as "a human institution that goes beyond all religious affiliations."
"While gay and lesbian people have every right to enjoy safety and dignity, the claim to a 'civil right' to marriage is a manufactured claim that should not be allowed to take hold of our society," Silva wrote.
Fidell: Aquaculture's the new target of Isle activists
Some say aquaculture is Hawai'i's next great sector, growing fish to provide us with food security, jobs and tax revenues for the state. The market is assured because the oceans can't meet world demand. Others say aquaculture will be the next whipping boy for the activists who are determined to bring it down.
Why would activists target such a promising new industry, especially where Hawai'i has lost self-sufficiency and imports 90 percent of its seafood? Maybe it's because the activists, like everyone else, are suffering in the recession, and desperate times call for desperate causes.
Activism is an industry dedicated not to building things, but stopping them. As others, activists have to pay for office space, staff, lawyers and PR. To pay their bills, they have to identify with causes. Old causes are old hat — they need fresh controversies to raise fresh money. No cause, no protest, no money.
RELATED: With federal law at stake, Paid activists attack Hawaii fish farmers
DePledge: Urgent action (the other article about Special Election)
U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, appealed to Republican donors across the country today to help Republicans take the May special elections in Hawaii and Pennsylvania.
The goal? $100,000 by the end of the month.
Lingle vetoes 'local workers' bill but legislative override is expected
Lingle said the bill would not do what it was expected to and could actually hurt the economy.
"It would impose an ambiguous quota system that would impair contractors' flexibility to maintain a work force that is responsive to the specific changing needs of a project," Lingle said.
"This bill would further stretch the limited resources and staffing of state and county agencies that award the contracts by adding the burden of having to monitor and enforce the quota requirements, as well as verify the residency status of each contractor's employees," Lingle said in a release.
The General Contractors Association, representing 570 general contractors, subcontractors and construction firms, asked Lingle to veto it, she said.
"I am persuaded by the objections of these organizations and contracting companies because they are the job creators," Lingle said.
RELATED: Lingle vetoes “local jobs” bill that isn’t
Mayors credited for saving TAT – property tax hike coming anyway
Kenoi has said he'll propose higher property tax rates in his May 5 amended budget request.
Hawaii's Census return rate of 65% one of the lowest in the nation
Hawaii had a Census mail response rate of 65 percent. That placed Hawaii 46th among the states, tied with Oklahoma, and ahead of West Virginia, Louisiana, New Mexico and Alaska.
Wisconsin led the nation with an 80 percent response rate.
Rapozo: Turning off stadium lights for native birds is for the birds
“For me, I think it’s unacceptable” to have lights completely off for the native birds, said Lenny Rapozo, director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation, while speaking on county parks in the Lihu‘e area at the April meeting of the Lihu‘e Business Association on Thursday.
Still, over $2 million in county taxpayer money is planned to be spent “retrofitting” lights at Vidinha Stadium, the Lihu‘e tennis courts, Isenberg Field, Hanapepe Stadium, Kapa‘a New Park stadium and softball field and Kilauea Park to conform with provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act, he said.
Any endangered seabird “costs up to $20,000” per take, he said. A take is any killing or injuring, regardless if the take is intentional or accidental.
The “design phase is almost complete” and negotiations are underway to create a permit which would allow a certain number of birds to be killed each year before fines kick in, Rapozo said.
“Recreation is very important for what goes on in the islands,” he said. Especially when it comes to sports like football, soccer and baseball, where “our parks are being maximized.”
“Sports is directly correlated to life and how we grow up,” Rapozo said.
Meanwhile bird-killing machines are being set up all over Hawaii: Wind Energy's Ghosts
Implications of Turtle Bay ruling are both narrow and wide
Conservationists hailed a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling in early April as a victory in their fight against Turtle Bay resort on Oahu's North Shore. But it could also have a wide-ranging impact on other developments throughout Hawaii.
Just how far-reaching the effects could be is unclear, as no government agency tracks what happens to projects after they've been reviewed. Uncertainty itself could be the biggest impact, at least in the short-term.